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El Paso Uno

By Hakim Bellamy

No one woke up, that Saturday, mourning.
No one woke up that Saturday morning with intentions of becoming a back to school vigil.
No one woke up not expecting to finish out a sophomore year...that had barely be-


No one woke believing "passageway to the north" would take on a whole new meaning.
No one woke up wanting to be a headline.
No one woke up wanting to be a deadline.

A story
that no one wanted to write.
A story
no one wants to right
or re-write
or re-like.

No one wanted to be number.
No one wanted to be a bilingual hashtag.
No one wanted to be punctuated.
No one wanted to be

No one wanted to be an Old English font.
No one wanted to sprout ink-dried quills.
No one wanted to play chamber music
in this American roulette.
No one wanted this kind of love poem

after death.

If no one wants to be on the front line of a poem.

Put me,
on the frontline

of a poem.




Listen as Hakim Bellamy reads "El Paso Uno."

Added: Monday, September 23, 2019  /  Used with permission.
Hakim Bellamy
Photo by Adam Rubinstein.

Hakim Bellamy is a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellow, a Santa Fe Art Institute Food Justice Residency Fellow, and the inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Outside of fathering his 11 year-old son, he uses poetry, music, theater, and performance to change the world around him. Catch him at his website or his blog.

Other poems by this author